Donald Regan: Chief Operating Officer

With the boss recuperating, brusque Donald Regan takes charge

Vice President George Bush did not get to pay a post-operative call on Ronald Reagan until last Wednesday, National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane not until Thursday. But Chief of Staff Donald Regan shuttled between his White House office and the Bethesda bedside all week, constituting, with Nancy Reagan, the President's principal contact with the outside world and becoming, for all intents and purposes, the chief operating officer of the U.S.

It was Regan who decided, only hours after the surgery, that the President should resume immediately the constitutional powers and duties he had briefly transferred to Bush ("Uh-oh, the Russians have...

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